Running two 8-ohm speakers off my center channel?


Matt Matcuk
Unregistered guest
I've read, on numerous sites, of the dangers to your receiver/amp of reducing the impedance of your speaker load. This would happen if you wired two 8-ohm speakers, for example, in parallel, to a single channel rated for 8-ohms.

But if you run these speakers in series, and therefore INCREASE the impedance, does this pose any risks to your amplifier/receiver?

Here are the specifics of what I am trying to do:

--hook up two Harman Kardon HK-2s speakers (8-ohms, 100 w. max power handling, 4" voice coils/1" tweeters)

--to the center channel of my Yamaha HTR 5730 AV receiver

--for the purpose of getting use of both speaker woofers (rather than just connecting one)

--on the assumption that two voice coils are better than one (at least most center channel speakers I see have two woofer/midrange speakers and one tweeter)

--but then again, will I get any better sound out of the two speaker/16-ohm load set-up than running the single speaker with its 8-ohm load?

I know that I could simply go out and buy a good single 8-ohm center channel speaker, but I am trying not to spend ANY money right now (am saving for two kid's educations). I also understand that there are issues of timbre-matching (which, given said college funds, I am going to have to ignore).

Thanks for any help you can give this Dad-On-An-Extreme-Budget.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

The only disadvantage to consider with your proposal would be the amplifier power when running into a 16 Ohm, or higher at times, load. Your amplifier will probably produce less than half its rated power into 16 Ohms. This will reduce the volume by 3dB and the dynamic capability overall. It should be a safe load to experiment with to determine how well it works.


Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 48
Registered: Dec-04
Having had a glance at the online PDF manual for the HTR 5730, it looks like it will be okay to run two 8 ohm speakers in parallel. The manual does not seem to impose restrictions on what speakers can be used, it quotes the standard output into 6 ohms, but also mentions 4 and 2 ohm output!

(It could possibly be that the centre volume is too high due to being out of the range of the receiver's adjustment, if so, then using long lengths of very thin speaker wire to hook them up might help)

Matt Matcuk
Unregistered guest
Thanks, J. Vigne and Diablo!

I read the manual during installation, but did not look at the different max power ratings for different impedances. Thanks for pointing this out.

So, if I'm reading your two responses right, it seems like J. Vigne, you're recommending wiring in series, and listening to the sound output of that configuration (as compared to hooking up only one speaker).

And Diablo, your reading of the manual indicates that a 4-ohm load (parallel set-up) should not necessarily be a problem (given the receiver's actual max output capability). If I did wire them in parallel, is there any way that I can tell whether this is actually taxing the system?

Thanks again to both of you for the helpful responses. I should note that I emailed Yamaha, and they responded that they recommend hooking up only one speaker to the center channel, although I have to say that this answer seemed more designed to protect Yamaha's liability, which is, I suppose, understandable.

Thanks again.


J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

There is no way to tell whether the amp is stressed until you try the hook up. If the amp shuts down at normal listening level, you should change the connection. Higher impedance is always safer than lower impedance. Speakers are not a straight 4 or 8 Ohm load; the actual impedance the amplifier sees may be lower than 4 Ohms if a single speaker dips below 6 Ohms at any point. The difference between one center speaker and two speakers is minimal if you just want to avoid the worry. Why not use on speaker as a center front and one speaker as a center rear? You'll find the hook up for a passive center for the rear in this link: (please read to the end of the posts)


Matt Matcuk
Unregistered guest
J. Vigne:

I think that I will take your advice and wire in series to increase the impedance, and then listen to this, comparing it to just using a single speaker as a center channel.

Thanks for the link to rear-center thread. I have to admit that much in that discussion is over my head, but if I end up using only one front speaker, I'll definitely save the other in the event that I get adventurous and try wiring it as a center rear.

Thanks again.
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